Reading Panty Explosion Perfect by Jake Richmond and Matt Schlotte

Panty Explosion Perfect is the new version of the game Panty Explosion from 2006. The previous version had intrigued me for quite some time when I finally got to play it at one of my potluck conventions. I liked PE a lot so when the new version was announced I pre-ordered. The game came in the mail yesterday and I read it immediately.

Panty Explosion Perfect

Panty Explosion Perfect

The book
Panty Explosion Perfect is a small booklet at a mere 26 pages, in a format slightly smaller than the usual 6×9 indie books. It is full color, and the highly readable two column format text is broken up by whole sections drawn in manga style. It was a very quick read

The setting
PEP is a game about Japanese school girls who do school girl things and fight demons. There is a section on the ordinary life of Japanese high school girls and a list of demons from Japanese folk-lore.

The rules
The rules are very simple. Character generation is limited to filling in the character’s name, two interesting facts and deciding upon a goal for the session. In play the mechanics boil down to rolling a single D6, where 4+ usually means a success.

The form
The form is traditional with GM (called ‘Superintendent’) and players, but in passing the game mentions the possibility of giving all the participants a character and rotating the GM’s tasks. As usual among Indie style games there is a focus on playing in separate scenes, rather than in free flowing narration.

Even if much was cut from PE in making PEP, the Best friend/Rival mechanism that IMO made PE so interesting stayed. Every player has a Best friend and a Rival among the other players. When challenges (conflicts) are resolved, the player states his or her intention, rolls the die and then the Best friend narrates the outcome if the roll was a success and the Rival if it failed. Since so much of the narration privileges is held by the players, leaving out the GM entirely seems like a natural move after a while.

The setting is OK. the short setting description and the list of options in the character generation section should provide enough material to run a few short convention style games.
The rules are good, there’s not much depth, but enough to keep the players’ interest in a three hour game.
The form is good, the Best friend/Rival mechanism seems like a good match to the setting.

Will I play it?
Maybe. To be honest I liked Panty Explosion the way it was. The new Panty Explosion Perfect is streamlined for goofy one shots, well suited to pickup games at cons or as a gateway game to introduce anime/manga fans into the role playing hobby. But it lacks depth and I think it will grow stale very quickly.… Panty Explosion Perfect product page.… The PEP character sheets that were left out of the book.

1 Comment

  1. June 4, 2011 at 16:05

    […] I ordered Panty Explosion Perfect I also got a copy of The Tulip Academy’s Society for Dangerous Gentlemen by Nick Smith. The […]

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